A 5-year-old Utah boy had an odd skin color, but he was not born with it. He developed the orange color from a cruel form of punishment his parents were putting him through.
As Fox 8 News reports, the boy’s mother, Clarissa Anne Tobiasson, and father, Brett Parker Tobiasson, were using carrots as a form of abuse on their young son — he had to consume a large amount of the vegetable before he was allowed to eat anything else. Sometimes carrots would be the only form or nourishment he received. As a result, his skin turned orange.
According to KSL, a search warrant revealed:
The child was required to eat a bowl or baggy of carrots and would not be given anything else to eat or drink until the carrots were gone. If the carrots were not eaten they would be saved for the next meal and then the next meal and sometimes the next day.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office explained that he was actually disciplined when he ate other food before his carrots:
In another instance he was disciplined for eating samples at a local store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before eating anything else.
A witness caught onto what was happening when she stayed at the family’s home. She noticed his orange-colored skin and watched as the parents made the child consume the carrots before he was allowed any other food.Screenshot/Fox 8 News
She recalled that his mother refused to let him eat the pizza she brought home for the family unless he finished all of his carrots in her 15-minute time limit. When he didn’t eat them quick enough, he was not allowed to have the pizza.
The Utah boy’s suffering didn’t stop with his food, he was also forced into a dark basement with no windows, no bathroom, and only a mattress every night, starting as early as 6 p.m. until after 6 a.m. the next morning, according to the Sheriff’s Office:
The boy described that he would go to the bathroom while in the room and put the waste in a hole in a wall so he would not get in trouble.
The unsealed search warrant described the then-5-year-old boy’s terrifying time:
The child reported he kept running into the walls while he was locked in the room because it was dark. The child said he was scared to be in the room. The child reported seeing a mouse and spiders in the room and mouse feces on the floor.
The mother and father were both arrested and charged with one count each of child abuse second-degree felony child abuse, with bail set at $10,000.Screenshot/Fox 8 News
The now-6-year-old boy and his 2-year-old sibling had been adopted by the Tobiassons. The couple also has a 2-month-old daughter.
All of the children have been removed from the home. The boy now lives with his grandmother. His 2-year-old sibling and the 2-month-old girl were placed with the state’s Division of Child and Family Services.
The Tobiassons are set to appear in court on Sept. 14.